Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Nobels

Elinor Ostrom gets the Nobel for Economics. The first woman to get the Economics Nobel, and one of the few (though not the first) non Economists to get it. (Is this making the Economists do a rethink on the funamental assumptions of their discipline?) What I like about Ostrom and Williamson getting the Nobel is the recognition that economic governance is inherently political- firms and communities make decisions not through prices but authority, power and reciprocity.

What I find problematic about Williamson's Nobel is the spotlight on the firm- I thought we already know this about firms- large firms are not markets and are not competitive. The prize seems to say the creation of large firms is inevitable given transaction costs, rather than being located in the political economy of hypercapitalism.

What I find problematic about Ostrom's Nobel is that her work on collective action erases power ('communities can be self governing'). But communities are shot through with inequalities, and we may have 'well functioning' systems which are deeply unequal (and I'm not the first to say this, political institutionalists have said this for the longest time).

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Filling gaps

whew... too long since the last post. a new member in the family, loved ones' visits, and today (two days ago actually), obama winning the nobel- unexpected and untimely, even by his own account.

here's a thought- exclude statesmen/women automatically from peace prize considerations because they stand not only for peace, but equally for war.

the nobel committee being political, as all bodies are, is unlikely to ever do so. the nobel committee, being supremely political, is likely to periodically give the award to statesmen and women.

Labels: ,